What You Missed at CWA

By Alysa Rogers

After months of planning, CU hosted the 70th annual Conference on World Affairs
during the second week of April. Impressive panelists from all over the globe came to participate
in discussions on the world’s most pressing issues and solutions to them, including things like
global warming and world hunger. Boulder High itself had the opportunity to host four panels of
its own, designed and produced by a group of students. These panels, held on the Monday and
Thursday block days that week, were period-long discussion in which the panelists introduced
the topic, allowing students and Boulder residents to ask questions afterwards. Many were
fortunate enough to go, but don’t worry if you missed it: here are the panels and the main points
to take from each.
First panel: Stranger Than Fiction (on fake news)
The main point: In this panel, the importance of checking the facts and gaining multiple
viewpoints when looking at the news was stressed. People need to put more effort into getting
their news and checking it (Facebook, interestingly enough, isn’t always a reliable news source).
If you want to get neutral and reliable news, you have to get it from multiple sources and check
everything yourself. And your news should be sourced from reliable and fairly unbiased sources.
Look for multiple news sources from multiple political views that report things as factually as
possible and from opinions from that, rather than simply absorbing the views of whatever article
you happen to be reading at the time.
Another interesting point made in this panel was about stopping fake news. Their answer:
provide more real news. Regulating fake news simply won’t work; instead, news needs to be
more accessible in remote locations that don’t really have access to any. Many newspapers
stopped circulation with the recession, leaving voids across the country where news wasn’t
available, creating a space for fake news. Simply providing more real news to drown out the fake
provides a better solution than ineffective regulation, and employs more people.
Second panel: Strangers in a Strange Land (on the refugee crisis)
The main point: This panel had less of a defined main point. One of the panelists, a former
refugee himself, did stress the importance of humans taking care of each other, whether that
means people within your country or people across the globe. The refugee crisis, with rising sea
levels leaving less land to hold more people, is only going to get worse. We’re going to have to
work out a peaceful solution to the problem we face in the future. The panel also hoped for
history not to be repeated, citing a ship of refugees from Germany during World War II that was
repeatedly denied until being sent back. As difficult as it is, we need to find a way to help people
in need of refuge, especially as the problem only gets worse.
Third panel: Movies, Monsters, and Morality (on the #MeToo movement and separating art from
its artists)

The main point: This panel really seemed to have two main points: representation matters, and
art can be separated from its artist if you want. The panelists felt first and foremost that by telling
stories that empower people, change could be made in industries everywhere, not just
Hollywood. They talked about movies like Wonder Woman and Black Panther and their
profound impact on people who are underrepresented in the media. They empower people who
haven’t been always been that empowered on the big screen, and the impact that empowerment
could have everywhere.
When asked if art should be separated from the artist, the panelists left the answer to each
person individually. Art has a profoundly emotional impact first and foremost, and giving up a
personal connection to something can be too hard for people. That connection is also very
important and can be hard to find. That said, some people can’t stand to support people who did
atrocious things by watching their movies or listening to their music. Because of the very
personal connection people feel with art, the panel said that every person decides for themselves
what to do and if they need to sacrifice that connection for morality.
Fourth panel: Feeding the Future (on the global food crisis)
The main point: Unsurprisingly, GMOs were discussed for the majority of this panel, even the
panelists themselves didn’t bring it up as a major point. They all pressed the fact that GMOs
aren’t inherently good or bad, and that people need to be more informed on them. They also
wanted people not to be for or against GMOs, as there are good and bad things about them.
However, they can still be used to help the food crisis. The panel also discussed our attitude
toward food and how that should change. With the advent of social media, food became a kind of
form of entertainment. In the future, they want food to become a more personal experience for
Have an interest in current events? Talk to Becky or email Ms. Gossard to join CWA next year
and help design the panels held at Boulder High.

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